Chehaw gets a new family member - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Chehaw gets a new family member

By Jay Polk - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – There's something new you may want to see at Chehaw.

The wild animal park is home to more than 200 animals, from alligators to zebras.

There are plenty of young visitors who come to see those animals at Chehaw Park. And Wednesday, we talked to some of them as they got a look at one animal that makes all of them look old by comparison.

Like six year old Arianna Whittaker.  She's enjoying her time at the park.

"The bobcats...the ostrich, and the zebras," she said.

But she was most excited to see the park's youngest resident.

"It was very cute," said Arianna.

What she's talking about is the Colobus monkey that was born at the park on July 5th. While the arrival of most newborns is greeted with great fanfare, this one came as a bit of a surprise.

Jan Thompson of Chehaw Park said, "we suspected...we weren't certain."

This is the third baby that Asusha has had and while it may seem like there would be some jealousy towards the baby from some of the siblings, that wasn't the case here. In this family, there was a little too much love for the baby.

"There was a period of time - a day or two later - where one of the older siblings had the baby and wouldn't give it back to mom," said Thompson.

So to allow them to bond without any interference, mother and child had to be separated from the rest of the family. After a few weeks, everyone is back together under one roof...or in one cage. Even among the park's youngest visitors, all of the family love has made an impression.

Emilee Foi of Albany said, "sometimes we all need to be loved."

Even though the baby Colobus is small now, it should be a big draw in the future for the park.

"I like to see monkeys grow up and see how they change," said Emilee.

This family of Colobus monkeys is not the only one that's growing.

Jan Thompson said, "in the last few months, we've had a violaceous turaco chick hatch."

And having all of these little ones around ensures that these little ones will have a rich diversity of animals to see as they get older.

It may seem strange, but officials here at the park don't even know whether the new baby Colobus is a boy or a girl yet. When they figure that out - and they're hoping to do that in the next few months - they'll give it a name.

Park officials are hoping for more babies soon. They have a pair of red wolves that they are trying to breed right now.

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